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Social and Community Effects


Father and son walking together

Photo: Health and Human Services

During the environmental documentation phase of transportation project development, WSDOT studies the effect of projects on the communities they travel through. We look at the demographics of the area, neighborhood cohesion, noise, walkability and ease of bicycling and using transit. This analysis is required to comply with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the National Environmental Policy Act.

The information on this page is designed for a technical audience.

WSDOT policy and the legal requirements may be found in Chapter 458 of the Environmental Manual.  This page provides guidance for conducting Social and Environmental Justice analysis for EA/EIS level projects.  Guidance for CE/DCE level project can be found on the Environmental Justice web page.

Four major elements are considered in the analysis:

Focus your analysis on the issues of greatest local interest based on feedback from your outreach efforts. Additional resources may be found at the bottom of this page.

If your project involves tolling, please contact Carol Lee Roalkvam, WSDOT Policy Branch Manager, to determine the appropriate action.

Basic Analysis Requirements Common to All Elements

Analysis tools are described in NCHRP Report 456: Guidebook for Assessing the Social and Economic Effects of Transportation Projects . The guidebook describes 4 analysis methods for each of 11 tools that may be used during the analysis. Although FHWA endorses the analytical methods described in the report, they do not feel that public involvement is adequately described or incorporated in the process. Keep these issues in mind when using NCHRP 456 (pdf 80 kb).

Evaluating Social and Community Effects

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Evaluating Economic Effects

Evaluating Relocation Impacts

Evaluating Equity Effects - Environmental Justice

Analysis tools are described in NCHRP Report 532: Effective Methods for Environmental Justice Assessment . The report describes the types of effects to be analyzed for each discipline, recommends tools for the analysis and describes the data needs, strengths and weaknesses for each tool.

Refer to FHWA's Guidebood for State, Regional, and Local Governments on Addressing Potential Equity Impacts of Road Pricing for methods for evaluating the equity impacts of tolling.

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Social and Community Effects Resources

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